Slain Baltimore Detective Sean Suiter Memorialized

by: Deborah Bailey Special to the AFRO
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Detective Sean Matthew Suiter was one of the “good brothers,” according to his partner and fellow detective Jonathan Jones.  Using imagery from the 23rd Psalm, Jones paid tribute to Suiter’s life of public service to his country and the citizens of Baltimore during the two-hour service celebrating Suiter’s life.

Funeral of Slain Baltimore Police Detective Sean Matthew Suiter. (Photo by Anderson Ward)

“As a homicide detective, we go through the valley, we stay in the valley and we bring people out of the valley who are sometimes lost.  Sean was the epitome of that,” Jones said summarizing the life and perilous work in which Suiter was engaged as he died at the hands of a gunman two weeks ago.  

An ocean of police officers from jurisdictions as far away as Pittsburgh, Columbus, Ohio and Chicago flooded Radecke Street, joining hundreds of foot soldiers and senior commanders from local squads across Maryland and the Baltimore-Washington region at Mt. Pleasant Church and Ministries to say goodbye to one of their own.

“We felt it was important to come in and drive the 12 hours to show our support,” said Officer Barber, a 23-year veteran patrolman with the Chicago Police Department.

Gov. Larry Hogan, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis led a small army of dignitaries flooding the church to pay their respects to Suiter’s wife, five children and extended family.  Hogan emphasized Suiter’s life of service and called him a hero.

“There are some things I do know: Sean Suiter spent the majority of his life serving people in unsafe places and during unsafe times,” Hogan said referring to Suiter’s 15-year enlistment in the United States Army and his service with the Baltimore Police Department since 1999.  

“What I need us to understand is that with the death of a police officer it leaves a stain on our city,” Pugh said.

During his eulogy, Bishop Clifford Johnson, made an oblique reference to the gunman who still remains at large. “I’m persuaded that whoever did this, that the power of God will bring them under such conviction that they won’t be able to hold out any longer,” he said.  

It was Suiter’s children, however, who warmed the hearts of the more than 1,500 who packed Mt. Pleasant. They created an atmosphere as bright as the smile Suiter was famous for within the city’s Western Police District. His son, Marquis Suiter, spoke and read eloquently from a poem he wrote for the occasion.

“That man right there is a great man,” Suiter said pointing to his father’s casket.  “The love that you guys shared together, you were best friends and I strive to have that in my life,” he said.  

Daughter Zharia spoke on behalf of the five Suiter children.

Outside the church, transit police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and public servants of every stripe stood at attention along with residents who lined the streets of Radeke Avenue as Suiter’s body was carried from the church in a two-hour long processional to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens where he was laid to rest.    

Suiter was shot in the head Nov. 15 while struggling with an unidentified gunman in Harlem Park on the city’s west side. He died a day later.

“We choose to rejoice in the life of this man of God who put his life on the line for his community of Baltimore every day,” Johnson said.

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